Srinagar: The alarming rise in cases of dog bites and in the number of stray dogs on the streets of Srinagar has led the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) to start the process of setting up another sterilisation facility, at Tengpora, which officials claim will be ready within four months.
“Animal Birth Control Center, Tengpora, will come into place with four months. We would be able to perform 60 surgeries per day at this centre. More than 15,000 dogs will be sterilised per year,” SMC Veterinary Officer Dr Javaid Ahmad Rather told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the center will drastically reduce the incidents of dog bites and that the municipality’s target is to sterilise 75% of stray dog population in Srinagar within two years
Rather said that the presence of garbage in the open invites dogs there. “People throw garbage on roads and are not using designated dustbins kept in respective localities,” he said.
Rather said the SMC’s dog sterilisation programme was halted due to Covid-19 lockdown. “But we have resumed it from our Shuhama centre,” he said.
Srinagar residents say that poor civic sanitation is one of the main reasons for presence of stray dogs on streets. “Authorities have failed to ensure sanitation in residential areas, resulting in increasing number of stray dogs,” said Gulzar Ahmad, a resident of Habba Kadal.
A resident of Rainawari, Bashir Ahmad, said that people, particularly children, fear stepping out of their homes due to large number of canines in the locality.
“Whenever our children go out to play, we accompany them to watch out for the dogs in the streets,” he said.
He said packs of dogs roaming inside parks and even entering premises, besides rummaging in garbage dumps, is a common sight not only in Rainawari but in adjacent localities as well.
“The population of dogs has grown manifold in recent weeks, which has led to a scare in the entire locality,” said Ahmad.
Residents of Natipora also complained of canine terror. “It is becoming difficult with each passing day to move out of our homes amid packs of dogs out in the streets and on main roads,” said a resident.